Information security covers a wide area of various practices and techniques. In this article, we will take a closer look at the main components of this field.
What is Information Security?
As a term laden with associations, information security covers a wide area of practices and techniques but simply put, it is protecting information and information systems from various undesired and or dangerous situations such as disruption, destruction, or unauthorized access and use.
Information security techniques include the use of software systems or taking physical measures such as disabling USB ports of your devices or protecting your servers against unforeseeable natural disasters.
Why is Information Security Important?
Companies and institutions from all sectors and of all sizes collect impressive amounts of data in order to operate smoothly, provide a better service and compete with others. In such an environment, being able to keep this data safe is as important as being able to gather it. That is why, information security practices are more important than ever.
As of today, many experts would agree that information is the most valuable asset a company can have. As a result, hundreds of attacks targeting companies from various industries happen every day. Information security measures aim to protect companies from a diverse set of attacks such as malware or phishing. When the measures you take to keep your data safe fail to protect you, a data breach happens. In other words, an outsider gains access to your valuable information. As a consequence, your company may lose business or hard earned trust of the public.
Hence, keeping your data safe is keeping your company safe and information security procedures are essential to any business.
What are the 5 Components of Information Security?
Information security consists of various practices and sub-disciplines. It aims to keep your data from unauthorized access and maintain its integrity, hinder any malware from rooting in your devices and networks, retain the important information when needed, provide a smooth and safe flow of information between networks and devices, and keep your networks safe.
Since the duties of information security protocols are various and numerous, information security practices are compartmentalized in order to make sure that all the possible issues are addressed. The CIA Triad is one of the most popular mainframes of the industry that is used to compartmentalize information security practices. It consists of the characteristics that define the accountability of the information: confidentiality, integrity and availability which are principles of it security.
Confidentiality refers to the concealment. It means that the information is visible to the authorized eyes only. Keeping the information from unauthorized viewers is the first step to the information security. This component gains importance especially in fields that deal with sensitive information like social security numbers, addresses and such.
Integrity means the ‘originality’ of the information. This component aims to make sure that the information is intact and unaltered. As a result, assuring that the information is not altered by mistake, malicious action or even a natural disaster falls within the scope of integrity.
Availability of the information is a pretty straightforward concept. It refers to having access to the information when needed. Availability gains additional importance because of the malicious attacks that aim to hinder authorized users from accessing the data.
In addition to the CIA Triad, there are two additional components of the information security: Authenticity and accountability.
Authenticity refers to the state of being genuine, verifiable or trustable. Accountability on the other hand, refers to the ability to trace back the actions to the entity that is responsible for them. It is especially important for fault isolation, detection, nonrepudiation and deterrence.
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